Scoot Commute

VJ Day Ride to Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut on a Honda Transalp

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut on a Honda Transalp

Rhode Island is the only US state to celebrate Victory over Japan Day, now called Victory Day as if that’s less offensive. Whatever your political views, I love the fact that we get holiday pay in the middle of August.

We woke up late and took our time getting out of the house. We both looked over some maps, and the boyfriend suggested a ride out to Tillinghast Farm for some clean air and cool water. But I wanted to head into northeastern Connecticut. In the end it was as if we didn’t even make plans because we just sorta wandered in a westward direction and wound up in the Natchaug State Forest.

At one point we found ourselves on Route 116 in Rhode Island, a really pretty road that skirts along the eastern shore of the Scituate Reservoir. Neither of us can remember if we ever rode this bit of road before…I really think it was the first time. It was beautiful as it’s part of the watershed so very few homes and virtually no traffic.

With Capt. Slow in the lead, we naturally got off-course. As we’re sitting in front of a house on a dead end street trying to figure out where we went wrong, a woman comes out and cheerfully sets us straight. I will never understand why Rhode Island doesn’t “do” road signage. At some places, it’s quite good, luring you in, until you get to the important junction. No signs, just guessing. And the guessing is usually wrong.

We rode out Snake Hill Road toward the Ponaganset Reservoir. What a beautiful ride. Today was a hot day and the skies opened up, drenching us in a much appreciated, cooling rain. I finally get the “wet your shirt and wear it under a mesh jacket” recommendation for riding in 90 degree heat.

Suzuki DRZ400SM and Honda Transalp at the Aldi in Connecticut

Suzuki DRZ400SM and Honda Transalp at the Aldi in Connecticut

The reservoir was peaceful and we eventually wound up on a western road, headed toward Connecticut. In Killingly the boyfriend pulled into the parking lot at the Aldi. I thought he wanted to confer on a route, but no! He wanted me to run in and see if they had the stupid moisturizer that I can no longer find at the Aldi stores in Rhode Island.

Hang head low. I bought 7 pots of the one type and one of the overnight stuff which I use less frequently (and already have a spare). The lady at the check-out was completely cool, but had to ask, so I told her that I can’t find it in Rhode Island. It was a woman-to-woman bonding moment.

[Sidenote: I used to live in Germany so when Aldi announced they were opening stores in Rhode Island, well I was thrilled! Company policy allows cashiers to sit (*gasp*!) as they ring up your goods and they charge for paper and plastic bags (so bring your own), instead of discounting your purchase like most mainstream grocery stores. In this case, the stick is much stronger than the carrot. All German grocery stores charged for bags as long ago as the 1980’s…when will the US get it?]

Natchaug River, Connecticut

Natchaug River, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest with DRZ400SM and Transalp

Natchaug State Forest with DRZ400SM and Transalp

We rode into Natchaug State Forest, where we were greeted with two pages of rules and regulations and not one map. We went for a walk into the woods, enjoying the cool, shady air and the rustling of the river.

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Hmmm, what goes on in the Natchaug State Forest in Connecticut?

Hmmm, what goes on in the Natchaug State Forest in Connecticut?

As it was getting late, we rode some of the roads in the forest before heading back toward Providence on 14A. It was a relaxing ride, a little more most welcome rain, and a freshly picked zucchini that I paid for with a Susan B. Anthony dollar because that’s all I had in my wallet (I keep meaning to bring them to the credit union). I asked the kid at the farm stand if it was a pain, and he replied no. But then he held it in his hand and said, “This is a dollar? Oh, it says ‘one dollar’.” Man, I felt like an old fart.

Beautiful afternoon of riding in the Natchaug State Forest, CT

Beautiful afternoon of riding in the Natchaug State Forest, CT

Providence and Worcester Railroad, Route 14A in Sterling, Connecticut

Providence and Worcester Railroad, Route 14A in Sterling, Connecticut

Flashback to cheap gas in Sterling, Connecticut

Flashback to cheap gas in Sterling, Connecticut

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